Freedom in a Digital World

“Freedom in a Digital World” was the theme of this year’s DC Lux summit, the annual symposium of the Diplomatic Council Luxembourg Mission. At the invitation of President Francis Hoogewerf and Vice President Noelle van Lonkhuyzen, DC leaders, DC members and DC friends joined the summit to discuss about the freedom of people in a world of increasing digitalization. Following the Executive Club, a festive reception took place at the beautiful Parc BelAir.

DC Business Ambassador and DC Commissioner for UN Affairs Jamal Qaiser explained the connection between freedom and peace. “Peace is possible only if people live in self-determined freedom”. This holds true for the real world but also the digital world”.

DC Commissioner for UN Affairs and Co-Chairman of the DC Speaking Forum Dr. Klaus-Ulrich Moeller presented the DC Code for Public Communication and Trust providing guidelines for the communication in the public sphere, in particular in social media networks. “Freedom of speech allows you to express your views freely but not to defame others”.

“The Digial World and the Union of Benelux” was the topic former Belgium Ambassador, H.E. Thomas Antoine presented. He is the current Secretary General of the Union Benelux and has just joined the Diplomatic Council as an honorary member. In his speech, he referred to the DC Code of Communication linking it to current politics. Schengen, a litte town in Luxembourg, serves as the name for the Schengen Agreement, which provides freedom of movement to residents of countries belonging to the European Union. To ensure this freedom of movement, clear rules were established in order to secure the external borders of the European Union.

From Schengen to Cyberspace

“Schengen was the starting point for a freedom never experienced before but it also entails the obligation to fight the abuse this freedom and ensure the safety and security of the residents”, says ambassador Antoine. Drawing a comparison to cyberspace, he adds: “Also in the digital world, we have to find the balance between freedom and security. On the one hand, there is a justified desire for privacy but on the other hand there is the need to ensure public security. Freedom without security is not possible”.

Markus Payer, Vice President Corporate Communications of SES held a presentation on “Beyond Frontiers in a Digital World“. He explained how digital information flows – by means of satellite networks – can be distributed throughout all continents enabling all people in the world to be part of the digital revolution.

Blockchain as state currency

The presentation on the newly created country Liberland, a micro state established around digitalization, has aroused interest. Applying for Liberland citizenship and all other state services can be made via the internet. The state currency is blockchain, a pure digital currency.

Machines and Humans

DC Secretary General Thi Thai Hang Nguyen delivered a speech on “Machines and Humans – Digitalization transforms our world“. She introduced the Diplomatic Council Otto Schell Institute for Digital Transformation and its key issue: “The objective of digitalization is to improved the living conditions for all people.

SpaceResources

During the evening reception, Mr. George Schmit, Envoy of the Government of Luxembourg, SpaceResources.lu presented the objectives and visions of SpaceResources. Luxembourg aims to contribute to the peaceful exploration and sustainable utilization of space resources for the benefit of humankind.

“All executive clubs organized this year, whether in Frankfurt, Rotterdam or Luxembourg were really inspiring and I look forward to the next DC executive club”, says DC Secretary General Hang Nguyen.